REVIEW: "Privacy Payoff", Ann Cavoukian/Tyler J. Hamilton

Discussion in 'Computer Security' started by Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Trevor, Feb 23, 2004.

  1. BKPRVPOF.RVW 20031019

    "Privacy Payoff", Ann Cavoukian/Tyler J. Hamilton, 2002,
    0-07-090560-6, U$24.95/C$39.99
    %A Ann Cavoukian
    %A Tyler J. Hamilton
    %C 300 Water Street, Whitby, Ontario L1N 9B6
    %D 2002
    %G 0-07-090560-6
    %I McGraw-Hill Ryerson/Osborne
    %O U$24.95/C$39.99 905-430-5000 800-565-5758 fax: 905-430-5020
    %P 332 p.
    %T "Privacy Payoff"

    In the Foreword, Don Tapscott touches on the issues of privacy and
    security, but in a vague and unclear manner. Most of the material
    simply points out some advantages of advertising the fact that you
    have a privacy policy. It is also rather ironic that Earthlink is
    used as an example of a good privacy policy, in chapter one, since
    that Internet provider has, at times, created some of the greatest
    problems for other Internet users with regard to spam. Yet another
    example of a case where addressing one security problem creates
    another? Chapter two tells us that people are concerned about
    privacy, and may sue over perceived breaches of confidence.
    DoubleClick is used as an example, but, interestingly in view of the
    titular intent of the book, the authors fail to note the direct
    financial hit involved with the fall in stock price when the plans to
    merge online tracking with personal data became public. There is a
    good overview of the definition, history, and philosophy of privacy,
    in chapter three, including a number of points that other works miss.
    The usual list of American privacy laws, with some nods to the
    European Union directives and the Canadian C-6/PIPEDA, is given in
    chapter four. Chapter five asserts, without doing much to prove, that
    privacy is a business imperative: most of the content is limited to
    the idea that privacy protection won't cost *that* much, although
    there is a study showing that privacy policies can help efficiency.
    There is good, practical information about the role and requirements
    for a Chief Privacy Officer in chapter six. Chapter seven contains a
    generic admonition to have adequate security. The virus section
    stresses Code Red, which the authors admit had nothing to do with
    privacy, and neglect Melissa, Sircam, and Klez, which did. There are
    scary stories about miscellaneous privacy related topics, in chapter
    eight, but the point is unclear. Targeted marketing can be good or
    bad, but chapter nine doesn't tell you how to do the good type.
    Chapter ten looks at various issues and examples of workplace privacy
    and surveillance, but sometimes not very deeply. For example, there
    is mention of the use of monitoring to prevent lawsuits over sexual
    harassment, but not the fact that such monitoring has been held to
    increase employer liability if harassment happens. The material in
    chapter eleven supposedly deals with privacy enhancing technologies,
    but it is confused and poorly explained. (The authors apparently
    don't understand some of the basic information technology: firewalls
    generally deal only with header information, and so do not face the
    same privacy considerations as content scanning.)

    There are some useful, and even important, points in the book, but the
    valuable content tends to be buried in a great deal of excess
    verbiage. This book could have been a lot shorter, and would have
    been more serviceable if it had been.

    copyright Robert M. Slade, 2003 BKPRVPOF.RVW 20031019


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    Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Trevor, Feb 23, 2004
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